Little things can make a big difference to how long your money lasts in retirement.
When it comes to retirement planning, you’ll want to make the most of your money, after all you don’t want to fritter away the savings you’ve worked all your life to achieve. So, whether you’re living a comfortable or modest lifestyle in retirement, there are still ways to make your money go further in retirement and make every dollar count.
Here are five things to consider:
1. Sell your second car
If it’s not critical to your daily routine, not only could you top up your savings with the sale proceeds, but you will save on annual registration, insurance and maintenance costs. Find out which concessions are available to you in your state to travel by public transport. Or catch a taxi occasionally as it will still be cheaper than maintaining a second car.
2. Renegotiate your bills
Check with your providers about bundling to save on services such as technology (phone, broadband), and energy (electricity, gas). Or check other providers’ rates through comparison websites. Ask if your provider offers a pensioner or seniors discount and then put what you save towards other expenses.
3. Investigate discounts and rebates
Visit the Department of Social Services or the Department of Veterans’ Affairs websites to learn about benefits and payments, such as pensions, allowances, bonuses, concession cards, supplements and other services you can access. Or find out about the Seniors Card for discounts on travel, health, lifestyle, government services and finance in your state.
4. Save on groceries
Do some research online to check for sales, half-priced or discounted items before you go shopping. You can also buy in bulk and then share the costs with your neighbours or family. Remember to check details such as use-by dates and the policy on returning items, as well as how and when you can take delivery of your groceries if you buy online.
5. Put your bills onto direct debit
You can have your bills paid automatically from your bank account by setting up a direct debit. Most suppliers have this facility, so go online, check your bill or ring your provider to get the details. If you normally pay your bills in person, you’ll save time and effort by not travelling to the post office (or wherever you pay your bills). And this way, you’ll qualify for the pay on time discounts that some providers offer, and you won’t have to check your bills tray every day to remember to pay them when they’re due.
How long will your money need to last?
These days we need to look after our finances for much longer than we’ve had to in the past.
Now, if you’re a male aged 65, you could expect to live for another 19 years (to age 84) while a 65 year old woman’s life expectancy is 87 – which is around 30 years longer than our Aussie ancestors of the 1800s.1
1 Australian Government, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Life expectancy, paragraph 3, 5.